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Old 17th April 2017, 05:50 PM   #201
The Big Dog
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I have read this material. It comes from an atheist host, but the material is Catholic Christian, strange as that may seem. The following is taken from its statement of principle, which evidently you haven't read.
http://strangenotions.com/about/
Why is the content mostly Catholic?
The Catholics at StrangeNotions.com do not for one moment pretend to be neutral. It is Catholics who have constructed this arena, wrote most of the articles, and who have issued the invitation to dialogue. Thus it is possible for an atheist to regard the whole thing as a cunningly—or not so cunningly—disguised form of propaganda or proselytization. It's certainly no secret that Catholics everywhere, offline and at Strange Notions, want to bring atheists to faith ...
It should be noted that one of the site's primary aims is to accurately explain Catholic teaching on issues like cosmology, morality, faith, and the Bible, and then discuss those positions with atheists. Therefore the articles are primarily from a Catholic perspective.
Yet, this is a fair and open place for seeking Truth. We invite careful criticism and your comments will never be deleted simply for disagreeing ...
Our specific goal here is to put two groups in dialogue: charitable atheists and serious-minded Catholics.
This was the last time I will pay you the unmerited compliment of commenting on your links. You don't examine them yourself.
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
It is not an argument at all. You have stated that O'Neill is an atheist therefore the statements in "Strange Notions" should be agreeable to me. I have pointed out, with appropriately cited evidence, that the site has been created by Roman Catholics, and is intended to propagate their doctrines with the intention of converting atheists. Therefore you evidently know nothing about the site you link to. I suspected that from your previous link to Ms Brown of Texas Tech.

But these observations of mine are not ad hom responses to your arguments .. . Because you have advanced no arguments. You merely post links, and since you have no understanding of the material you link to, that is a pointless operation. Then you are stating that culture ceased to flourish in the West, but this shouldn't be called the Dark Ages? What in fact are you saying? That the concept is an anti-German Enlightenment prejudice? That it has been wrongly named? That it never happened? What is your argument?
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
You had the "audacity" to post a Texas tech university "prezi" from absolute latest historical scholar D'Etta Brown, which provided me with great instruction and entertainment. Here is your link https://prezi.com/fepswnjg10ic/corre...es-lighten-up/ Its author seems to be this lady. I asked you to confirm that, but you have not vouchsafed a reply unto me. https://about.me/detta.brown She's not the usual stuffy "absolute latest historical scholar" type at all.

Your other informants were the RCC missionaries from the strange Notions site. http://strangenotions.com/about/ I'm not sure I would apply the expression absolute latest scholarship to them. They deal more in sort of Revealed Eternal Absolute Truths.
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Who do you think you are kidding? "I have repeatedly shown ... I was going to post links to recent scholarship, but ... " And you haven't even confirmed whether your last most recent scholar Ms Brown is the one I found on the Internet. No wonder you get complaints!

But if you want to hide the credentials of your recent scholars ... GO FOR IT!
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
During these ages, the Christian Church dominated W European intellectual activity. That is what is being protected here. Nothing else is of the least importance to TBD. Look at the "scholars" he has linked us to. Extreme religious nutters.
Originally Posted by snoop_doxie View Post
Where are the blatant ad hominem fallacies?

Please hilite or quote the actual words.
my pleasure
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Old 17th April 2017, 06:46 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Nor is it intended to contradict it, I have already mentioned that one should expect it in areas previously under the control of the Western Roman empire,
One would expect that collapse of trade, living conditions, industry, population, etc. because a collapse happened, right? I think at least that far we are on the same page.

In that case I don't think "dark ages" is as inaccurate a moniker as you are making it out to be. Can you sum up simply your objection to the term? Is it related to your next statement, that while there was such a collapse in the Western Roman Empire, the East continued to flourish:

Quote:
while development continued in the East and flourished in the Middle east, and eventually rebounded in the North under the so called Carolingian Renaissance, Wickham at Chapter Four
This, I think, is contradicted by the part of my post that you chose not to respond to, so I'll repost it for emphasis:

Quote:
The best antidote is simply to compare site reports and survey data for virtually any part of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century CE with those for the same region in the 7th century CE (e.g., in Britain, Colchester [Hawkes and Hull 1947; Hawkes and Crummy 1995; Crummy 1981, 1984], Wroxeter [White and Barker 1998; Barker et al. 1997], St. Albans [Neal et al. 1990], or London [Grimes 1968]; in Italy [survey in Christie 2006], Rome [Steinby 1993-2000; Coates-Stephens 1996], Naples [Arthur 2002], or San Giovanni di Ruoti [Freed 1985]; in Egypt, Coptos [Herbert and Berlin 2003] or Bakchias [Bitelli et al. 2003]). Every site (even in Egypt, which weathered the storm better than any other part of the Roman Empire) reveals falling material standards of living and energy capture.
Showing that while the decline in the east was certainly less severe than in the west, there was still a decline. Of course that doesn't necessarily mean that "dark ages" is a particularly useful name for that period in that region. But clearly something happened.

Morris suggests that this milder decline continued until around the 7th century (CE) whereupon conditions began to improve to some extent (at least in the east), but, at least with regards to the metrics he uses which include energy capture, information technology (both speed and amount), war making capacity, and organisation (a society's ability to deal with complex organisational tasks smoothly), the level that Rome achieved in the 1st century CE wasn't achieved again until the 16th century CE in the west* (and 15th century CE in China).

*the west, under his definitions, includes the middle east.

So what did happen? Again I think Morris does a good job of giving an explanation, though the following is my own thoughts which have certainly been influenced by his writing:

Roman power ebbed in part due to introduction of diseases that had arisen in the east and were carried by migrating peoples from the eurasian steppes. These waves of migrants also posed a threat to the empire as some simply tried to settle on Roman land (which they weren't always welcome to) and others came to plunder it (and there is overlap between those categories). An empire ravaged by plague was less capable of dealing with these threats than it had been in the past and each wave meant the empire was dealing with the next from a weaker position. These stresses both led to and were increased by civil war, and soon the empire began to fracture into smaller substates, which eventually led to the collapse of central power. Once Rome no longer controlled the mediterranean, the sea's extreme usefulness in trade became weakened by the lack of patrol and markets began to close, economies to contract, economies of scale to lose their edge, and the proportion of each economy devoted to higher learning or highly skilled labour to contract as well.

I don't see much place for blaming the church in here and as I said earlier I think the church actually helped to mitigate the collapse in so much as it remained the only truly international power thought the former western roman empire and was able to take on at least some of the roles of the previous central government.

The above explanation is generally an explanation of outside factors impacting on Rome. I have seen suggestions of internal factors, of changes in the way the military was run, and of the administration of the empire in general as leading to the collapse. These arguments may have some merit but I think that we nevertheless need to take into account that external factors were in fact different from those encountered by Rome in previous centuries and while these new circumstances were sometimes faced by able administrators with success, no state (empire, republic, or whatever) can count on great leadership forever.
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Old 18th April 2017, 06:20 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
One would expect that collapse of trade, living conditions, industry, population, etc. because a collapse happened, right? I think at least that far we are on the same page.

In that case I don't think "dark ages" is as inaccurate a moniker as you are making it out to be.
sure it is inaccurate, outdated, a misnomer, a poor description, misleading and rooted in bigotry.

Western Rome relied on food exports because the population in Rome was unsupportable based on local agriculture, when the imports stopped, due to the loss of the breadbasket of Africa, economic activity slowed.

Agriculture did not flourish until the development and expansion of the use of the moldboard plow, the horse collar and three field agriculture. When did that happen? In the so called "dark ages."

Use "migration age," you'll be happy you did.
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Old 18th April 2017, 09:03 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
sure it is inaccurate, outdated, a misnomer, a poor description, misleading and rooted in bigotry.

Western Rome relied on food exports because the population in Rome was unsupportable based on local agriculture, when the imports stopped, due to the loss of the breadbasket of Africa, economic activity slowed.
That's somewhat true, but it also supports my point. The decline of international trade is exactly one of the things that caused the "dark ages", of which the declining population is also an important part.

Furthermore the declining population was not only due to the decline of international trade. Plague played an important part (and it is my contention that the stresses caused by plagues were one of the major reasons that the roman state wasn't robust enough to deal with the migrations of huns, vandals, etc.).



Quote:
Agriculture did not flourish until the development and expansion of the use of the moldboard plow, the horse collar and three field agriculture. When did that happen? In the so called "dark ages."

Use "migration age," you'll be happy you did.
Population fell with the collapse of the roman empire and didn't begin to recover until the high middle ages. If your contention is that the high middle ages should not be called the dark ages, I think everyone here will agree with you.

For instance:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediev...Late_Antiquity
Quote:
Late Antiquity saw various indicators of Roman civilization begin to decline, including urbanization, seaborne commerce, and total population. Only 40% as many Mediterranean shipwrecks have been found for the 3rd century as for the 1st. During the period from 150 to 400, the population of the Roman Empire is estimated to have fallen from 70 million to 50 million, a decline of almost 30%. Proximate causes of the population decrease include the Antonine Plague, Plague of Cyprian, and the Crisis of the Third Century. European population probably reached a minimum during the Extreme weather events of 535–536 and the ensuing Plague of Justinian. Some have connected this demographic transition to the Migration Period Pessimism, when there was a decrease in global temperatures that impaired agricultural yields.
Quote:
The Early Middle Ages saw relatively little population growth with urbanization well below its Roman peak, reflecting a low technological level, limited trade and political, social and economic dislocation exacerbated by the impact of Viking expansion in the north, Arab expansion in the south and the movement of Slavs and Magyars in the east. This rural, uncertain life spurred the development of feudalism and the Christianization of Europe. Estimates of the total population of Europe are speculative, but at the time of Charlemagne it is thought to have been between 25 and 30 million, of which perhaps half were in the Carolingian Empire that covered modern France, the Low Countries, western Germany, Austria, Slovenia, northern Italy and part of northern Spain. Most medieval settlements remained small, with agricultural land and large zones of unpopulated and lawless wilderness in between.
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Old 18th April 2017, 09:45 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
my pleasure
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

Quote:
Ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is now usually understood as a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.[2]

However, its original meaning was an argument "calculated to appeal to the person addressed more than to impartial reason" [3]

Fallacious ad hominem reasoning is normally categorized as an informal fallacy,[4][5][6] more precisely as a genetic fallacy, a subcategory of fallacies of irrelevance.

However, in some cases, ad hominem attacks can be non-fallacious; i.e., if the attack on the character of the person is directly tackling the argument itself. For example, if the truth of the argument relies on the truthfulness of the person making the argument—rather than known facts—then pointing out that the person has previously lied is not a fallacious argument.
I have read all those posts.

Where is the attack on your character, your motives or any other attribute belonging to you?

Unless you are speaking about a non-fallacious ad hominem attack?
If the person making the argument has been untruthful, then pointing out
that untruthfulness is not fallacious.
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Old 18th April 2017, 09:53 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
That's somewhat true, but it also supports my point. The decline of international trade is exactly one of the things that caused the "dark ages", of which the declining population is also an important part.

Furthermore the declining population was not only due to the decline of international trade. Plague played an important part (and it is my contention that the stresses caused by plagues were one of the major reasons that the roman state wasn't robust enough to deal with the migrations of huns, vandals, etc.).

Population fell with the collapse of the roman empire and didn't begin to recover until the high middle ages. If your contention is that the high middle ages should not be called the dark ages, I think everyone here will agree with you.

For instance:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediev...Late_Antiquity
there was no doubt that this contributed, but certainly the most significant cause of the end of the Roman Empire in the West was the failure to defend the breadbasket of Africa in the 430's, which led to the increasing use of so called barbarian troops that unlike in previous periods were not effectively Romanized.

It would appear that the only significant disagreement we have is your insistence on using the term dark ages, despite the fact it is clearly a misnomer.
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Old 18th April 2017, 09:59 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by snoop_doxie View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem



I have read all those posts.

Where is the attack on your character, your motives or any other attribute belonging to you?

Unless you are speaking about a non-fallacious ad hominem attack?
If the person making the argument has been untruthful, then pointing out
that untruthfulness is not fallacious.
"is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself."

I have relied upon research and articles written by scholars, whom have been attacked not on the basis of the merits of their arguments, but rather because they have been characterized as, inter alia, "Extreme religious nutters." Now only was that claim silly (heck one person I relied on was an atheist) but claiming that the researcher is an extreme religious nutter does not render false the argument being relied upon.

QED.
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Old 18th April 2017, 10:21 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
"is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself."

I have relied upon research and articles written by scholars, whom have been attacked not on the basis of the merits of their arguments, but rather because they have been characterized as, inter alia, "Extreme religious nutters." Now only was that claim silly (heck one person I relied on was an atheist) but claiming that the researcher is an extreme religious nutter does not render false the argument being relied upon.

QED.
Truth does not matter.
The atheist you relied on wrote something for

Quote:
The Catholics at StrangeNotions.com do not for one moment pretend to be neutral. It is Catholics who have constructed this arena, wrote most of the articles, and who have issued the invitation to dialogue. Thus it is possible for an atheist to regard the whole thing as a cunningly—or not so cunningly—disguised form of propaganda or proselytization. It's certainly no secret that Catholics everywhere, offline and at Strange Notions, want to bring atheists to faith ...

Claiming one of your "researchers" is a religious nutter is not an ad hominem
fallacy about you.

Maybe you have something from the Jesuits?

I will end this off topic posting now. I do not see any progress ahead.
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Old 18th April 2017, 10:44 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by snoop_doxie View Post
Truth does not matter.
The atheist you relied on wrote something for




Claiming one of your "researchers" is a religious nutter is not an ad hominem
fallacy about you.

Maybe you have something from the Jesuits?

I will end this off topic posting now. I do not see any progress ahead.
rejecting a researchers conclusion because he was a "religious nutter" is of course an ad hominem fallacy

But I do agree that I do not see any progress ahead
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Old 18th April 2017, 11:15 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
The actual quote begins:



I will leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusion regarding the reason for the deletion of the opening clause..
Because you don't have the intellectual confidence to propose an explanation of your own, and place it before the participants in this thread?
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Old 18th April 2017, 11:57 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Because you don't have the intellectual confidence to propose an explanation of your own, and place it before the participants in this thread?
Is that supposed to be the explanation why you blatantly misrepresented Augustine's quote?
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Old 18th April 2017, 12:15 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Is that supposed to be the explanation why you blatantly misrepresented Augustine's quote?
In what way was Augustine's quote misrepresented?
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Old 18th April 2017, 01:01 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Is that supposed to be the explanation why you blatantly misrepresented Augustine's quote?
Ah, so you don't have the required intellectual confidence. When you do get it, I will know from the content of your posts, and I will respond with, I hope, equally constructive observations.

In the meantime ponder this. Did Augustine give equal weight to studies of the material world, and to meditations on the holy scriptures? My argument is that the material sciences were disparaged by Augustine in favour of these religious cogitations.

That's what did the damage: not physicists or astronomers being boiled in oil by the Inquisition during the period of the fall of the Roman Empire, which we are agreed didn't happen.
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Old 18th April 2017, 01:20 PM   #214
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Rare when someone blatantly misquotes something, gets caught and yet has the arrogance to say that I do not have the "required intellectual confidence."

Now we have already shown that people reading this thread have been misled by an intentional misrepresentation by misleadingly deleting the opening clause:

Quote:
When, then, the question is asked what we are to believe in regard to religion, it is not necessary to probe into the nature of things
The hilited part was intentionally omitted.

Next, here is what Augustine actually said about science:

Quote:
CHAPTER 19
On interpreting the mind of the sacred writer. Christians should not talk nonsense to unbelievers.

38. Let us suppose that in explaining the words, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and light was made,” one man thinks that it was material light that was made, and another that it was spiritual. As to the actual existence of “spiritual light” in a spiritual creature, our faith leaves no doubt; as to the existence of material light, celestial or supercelestial, even existing before the heavens, a light which could have been followed by night, there will be nothing in such a supposition contrary to the faith until unerring truth gives the lie to it. And if that should happen, this teaching was never in Holy Scripture but was an opinion proposed by man in his ignorance. On the other hand, if reason should prove that this opinion is unquestionably true, it will still be uncertain whether this sense was intended by the sacred writer when he used the words quoted above, or whether he meant something else no less true. And if the general drift of the passage shows that the sacred writer did not intend this teaching, the other, which he did intend, will not thereby be false; indeed, it will be true and more worth knowing. On the other hand, if the tenor of the words of Scripture does not militate against our taking this teaching as the mind of the writer, we shall still have to enquire whether he could not have meant something else besides. And if we find that he could have meant something else also, it will not be clear which of the two meanings he intended. And there is no difficulty if he is thought to have wished both interpretations if both are supported by clear indications in the context.

39. Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although “they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”
De Genesi ad litteram (Literal commentary on Genesis) is an exegetical text on the first book of the Bible by Saint Augustine (354–430). https://www.wdl.org/en/item/14706/

Thus the "argument is that the material sciences were disparaged by Augustine in favour of these religious cogitations" has been proven utterly false.
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Old 18th April 2017, 01:36 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Rare when someone blatantly misquotes something, gets caught and yet has the arrogance to say that I do not have the "required intellectual confidence."

Now we have already shown that people reading this thread have been misled by an intentional misrepresentation by misleadingly deleting the opening clause:



The hilited part was intentionally omitted.

Next, here is what Augustine actually said about science:



De Genesi ad litteram (Literal commentary on Genesis) is an exegetical text on the first book of the Bible by Saint Augustine (354–430). https://www.wdl.org/en/item/14706/

Thus the "argument is that the material sciences were disparaged by Augustine in favour of these religious cogitations" has been proven utterly false.
But we still don't know what your position is, only Augustine's.

Do you not have a position of your own?
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Old 18th April 2017, 01:41 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
But we still don't know what your position is, only Augustine's.

Do you not have a position of your own?
actually you do know my position: the quote from Augustine was deliberately edited to support a baseless argument and in fact Augustine's position was the exact opposite to how it was portrayed.

What is your position on it?
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Old 18th April 2017, 01:49 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
actually you do know my position: the quote from Augustine was deliberately edited to support a baseless argument and in fact Augustine's position was the exact opposite to how it was portrayed.

What is your position on it?
Augustine was a religious crank. It really doesn't matter what anyone thinks. He was a religious fruit loop.

Now that that is out of the way...

What is your position on the matter?
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Old 18th April 2017, 01:53 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Augustine was a religious crank. It really doesn't matter what anyone thinks. He was a religious fruit loop.

Now that that is out of the way...

What is your position on the matter?
well in that case, you are going to want to take it up with Craig because he is the one that raised the claim based on Augustine in the first place, I just showed that you had been misled and then destroyed the claim.

Please endeavor to read the thread more closely next time.
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Old 18th April 2017, 03:41 PM   #219
Craig B
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I am going to ignore the animosity in TBDs posts because it is pointless to object to, and it is not worth caring about. But my ignoring it does not mean that I accept it, or that I like it. Anyway, let's read from TBD's cited passage. Here is the essence of the thing.
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?
So A has no interest in science as such. He is merely concerned that missionaries shouldn't make fools of themselves when dealing with the only really important issue ... for whose salvation we toil. It's a bit like missionaries being taught something about the culture of the people among whom they will propagate the faith, purely to make their message more convincing by avoiding solecisms.

A was not interested in science as such. I have already quoted him to that effect, but here's more.
But in the other city there is no human wisdom, but only godliness, which offers due worship to the true God, and looks for its reward in the society of the saints, of holy angels as well as holy men, “that God may be all in all.” City of God Book XIV, Chap. 28

Hence men go on to search out the hidden powers of nature (which is besides our end), which to know profits not, and wherein men desire nothing but to know. Confessions Book 10
His famous comment on the great figures of Greek natural philosophy.
Let Thales depart with his water, Anaximenes with the air, the Stoics with their fire, Epicurus with his atoms ...
And his real attitude to astronomy.
... nor care I to know the courses of the Stars ...
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Old 18th April 2017, 03:47 PM   #220
The Big Dog
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Rather than acknowledge the misrepresentation (and after lambasting me for not having the intellectual confidence) it is a bit rich that people complain about my animosity?

smfh:

Quote:
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience.
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Old 18th April 2017, 04:19 PM   #221
Craig B
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The point of your quoted text is not clear. Augustine believed that people knew about these things, and he warned Christian missionaries not to look like fools by being ignorant of them, in case that might impede them while they were trying to save the souls of unbelievers. But he paid no regard to the value of this knowledge on its own merits, and had no interest in it as a personal concern.
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